What Form of Communication do Your Sellers Prefer?
Communication is obviously essential during our real estate transactions, in particular between us and our seller clients. This is true before they get an offer, and perhaps more so afterwards.
What form of communication do your sellers prefer?
Do you know?
Do you ask?
I attended a panel of sellers sponsored by Hear it Direct (if you aren’t familiar with Hear it Direct, you can read more about it on their website) while at the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®Convention. The panel of 5 sellers, in various stages of selling (pre-list, listed, and recent sale), shared their thoughts about what they liked and didn’t like about their REALTORS®, how and why they made the selection of agents to represent them (or to go FSBO), among other issues.
One intriguing question was “What type of communication do you prefer from your agent?” Not surprisingly the answers were varied.
One seller said they did not care, and their agent could call anytime day or night. One said any form was fine but they did not want to get calls late at night unless it was essential and that email would be better. Another seller was adamant that they wanted to talk with their agent on the phone and that texting was a “no no”.
In contrast another claimed they did NOT want to talk on the phone and only wanted their agent’s communication via email, or text.
Interestingly no one said they wanted the communication from their listing agent face-to-face!
And 2 were very specific about NOT liking pop-bys...please, only after a phone call!
My takeaway, which was not an eye opener, was that it remains important to ask about the preferred method of communication. And sometimes we might make assumptions about the preferred communication that could be wrong. I do tend to ask my clients and find there are often distinct preferences, especially for email.
A member of the REALTOR® audience, in the mastermind session that followed, raised the question of whether we should change our preferred mode of communication simply to suit our sellers’ preferences. There was some disagreement on this.
Certainly there are times when a specific method of communicating could be more problematic or perhaps wrong given the nature of the communication – a series of questions, a detailed response to inquiries, and so on.
While it’s possible to save text messages to be part of the transaction, clearly email makes creating a paper trail and documentation for the file much easier than a phone call (but that can always be documented in writing or a follow-up email). And certainly there are some sellers’ – rare - who do not use email at all!
So what do you think?
Do you know what your sellers’ preferred method of communication from you is?
Do you ask?
And how do you handle it if your preferred method conflicts with your sellers?